March is Women’s History Month and tomorrow—March 8—is International Women’s Day. It is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and raise awareness about discrimination. Perhaps this goes without saying, but we need more women in construction, engineering, and infrastructure.
As we all know, the statistics show women make up only 10% of the construction workforce. If we want more people in construction, we need to look at one portion of the population that has historically been underrepresented in this industry.
I have a unique perspective as we move into a new era of work. We need to incentivize workers for their innovations. Claire Rutkowski, CIO and SVP, Bentley Systems, said it best in a recent video: “There is a gap in the number of women who enter the engineering workforce and then we have a gap in the number of women who stay in the engineering workforce.”
Therefore, we have a huge task ahead of us. We need to encourage young women to consider a career in construction—and then we need to incentivize them to stay there. I have the belief that if we encourage more young women to be involved, help companies to grow, give them room to lead, and improve the bottomline, they will be happier and they will take the reins of the leadership.
I have some tangible ideas for how we can do this. I think we need to show them what is possible in construction, and they will be inspired. At the center of all of this is digital transformation, the IoT (Internet of Things), and AI (artificial intelligence).
First, we need to show these women how they can leverage technology in their own ways to improve the bottomline and when they do, they should be rewarded—rewarded in a way that stands out so other innovators get inspired.
Second, we need these workers to create SaaS (software as a service) that generates revenue in some cases. I have been speaking about monetization with many people on The Peggy Smedley Show. There are big opportunities to be had—but only if people dream them up. And we need to encourage women their dreams are possible and celebrated—and even rewarded.
Finally, we need these workers to step out of their comfort zone and work with teammates to create what appears to be the impossible. Collaboration is more important today than it has ever been before—even in a hybrid working world.
It all takes time, but the transition will happen, if we take the right steps to make it happen. For now, we need to show them what is possible and inspire them to do something innovative with technology. If we do, the rewards will be big for all involved—the individual workers and the company.
What are your thoughts? How do we move forward in a new era of work? How do we encourage more women to consider careers in construction? How do we encourage more young women to be involved, help companies to grow, give them room to lead, and improve the bottomline?
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